API and Apps: An example fom official statistics

An example of an API access to statistical data

The U.S. Census Bureau  now offers some of its public data in machine-readable format. This is done via an Application Programming Interface (“API”).
Based on this API an App has been developed helping to query data from the Cenus 2010:

No data without legal clarification. The Census Bureau does it like follows:

You may use the Census Bureau API to develop a service or service to search, display, analyze, retrieve, view and otherwise “get” information from Census Bureau data.
All services, which utilize or access the API, should display the following notice prominently within the application: “This product uses the Census Bureau Data API but is not endorsed or certified by the Census Bureau.” You may use the Census Bureau name in order to identify the source of API content subject to these rules. You may not use the Census Bureau name, or the like to imply endorsement of any product, service, or entity, not-for-profit, commercial or otherwise.’

Mapping America

A recent project of The New York Times allows to ‘browse local data from the Census Bureau‘s American Community Survey, based on samples from 2005 to 2009’. It’s a great visual and interactive application designed by By MATTHEW BLOCH, SHAN CARTER and ALAN McLEAN.

Several topics and maps are available

and provide insights down to cities and blocks

‘Because these figures are based on samples, they are subject to a margin of error, particularly in places with a low population, and are best regarded as estimates.’

US Census Budget: House Bill Would Gut Economic Monitoring, Endanger GDP And Other Stats


‘WASHINGTON — If you think Congress doesn’t understand the economy now, wait till you see what a key House panel wants to do to the people who help figure it out.
Lawmakers are taking on the budget for the Census Bureau, pushing cuts that could leave economists and businesses in the dark about key economic information even as they are trying to map a path through a treacherous, uncertain economy.
The House Appropriations Committee is set to put the final touches on a funding bill Wednesday that proposes to slash the government’s data collection arm by 25 percent — a cut that economists and statistics experts say could end up costing…’ more -> Census Budget: House Bill Would Gut Economic Monitoring, Endanger GDP And Other Stats.